Epping Forest to ease Byo water crisis

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) says it is currently equipping the last of the 10 boreholes at Epping Forest in Nyamandlovu.

This development will add 10 megalitres to which needs about 150 megalitres of water per day and is currently receiving an average of 89 mega litres per day. 

ZINWA Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager, Marjorie Munyonga said “commendable progress” has been made at Epping Forest with the authority currently drilling the last of the 10 boreholes that were meant to be drilled under the project.

“The scope of work at Epping Forest entailed the drilling of 10 boreholes and equipping them together with 10 other boreholes, which were already in existence. Seven boreholes have since been equipped while the equipping of the rest of the boreholes in underway with most components on site,” she said in a statement.

In terms of pumping and pipe work, Munyonga said the work is now substantially complete while the only outstanding activity was the electrification of the line.

“ZESA engineers are working flat out to have transformers fixed and getting the system energised within the shortest possible period,” she said.

Munyonga pointed out this rehabilitation work was made possible through the ZWL $205 million availed by Treasury in August to help improve the water situation in Bulawayo with part of the funds earmarked for the emergency drilling, rehabilitation and equipping of boreholes at Epping Forest.

“Following the release of the funds, ZINWA being the project’s implementing entity and Government’s water resources management lead agency, immediately commenced work and stakeholders may recall that the Authority pledged to have the emergency works fully implemented and pumping to Bulawayo started by October 31, 2020,” she said.

Munyonga said ZINWA was already test-running the pumping system using gravity and by end of day on November 1, 2020, a total of 10. 4 megalitres of water had been pumped through the test runs.

“More test runs will be run once the system is fully energised in the coming days. On completion of the project, Epping Forest should deliver an additional 10 megalitres (10 million litres) of water per day, taking the combined output from Epping Forest and Nyamandlovu (Rochester) to 20 megalitres (20 million litres) per day,” Munyonga said.

Bulawayo is also receiving a daily average of 16 megalitres (of water from Mtshabezi Dam through the Mtshabezi Pipeline.

“ZINWA wishes to thank all stakeholders for their support during the period and once again reiterates its commitment to a speedy and expeditious resolution of the Bulawayo water situation. The Authority will keep updating stakeholders as the project progresses,” she said.

BCC Director of Engineering Services, Simela Dube, said Bulawayo needs a daily average of 150 megalitres per day but since three supply dams were decommissioned (Umzingwane, Lower and Upper Ncema), the city relies on 89 mega litres per day.

“Rochester in Nyamandlovu is currently contributing on average an eight megalitres  per day while Epping Forest is estimated to contribute eight to 10 megalitres per day. 10 megalitres is the potential.  Eight megalitres is the performance considering breakdowns and power outages,” he said.

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